by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park
The festive and well-attended Saturday evening (Nov. 26) was made even better for Thomas Dillon, when his horse, Rock Me Baby, won the $120,000 Courageous Lady at Northfield Park.
The Courageous Lady was a series of firsts for Rock Me Baby. It was the first time she had raced for Dillon. He purchased her just two weeks ago for $82,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg. It was also Rock Me Baby’s first start for trainer Heidi Rohr and the first time that Tim Tetrick has driven the filly.
Rock Me Baby left off the gate. She initially sat in third, but was sent to the outside approaching the quarter-mile marker. Once she made the lead at about that pole, Rock Me Baby never experienced an anxious moment the remainder of the mile. She posted fractions of: :26.4, :54.4, 1:23 and 1:52.
“We had to go a pretty big first half,” explained Tetrick, “But I was able to give her a breather around the turn and she was really strong to the finish.”
The clocking was a stakes record for the Courageous Lady, equaled Northfield Park’s track record for sophomore filly pacers and was a new lifetime mark for Rock Me Baby.
“I was happy to get to drive her,” said Tetrick. “When they called me to ask if I would come here (Northfield), I was like absolutely. I love traveling around to these big races offered at places like Northfield and being able to compete with nice horses. I’m just glad to be a part of all this.”
Completing the field were Mother Of Art, L A Delight, Yankee Moonshine, Dime A Dance, Bellatricks, Free Show and Time On My Hands.
Rock Me Baby (Rock N Roll Heaven-Lover Of Art) now has four wins in 21 lifetime starts. Saturday’s victory increased her career bankroll to $164,228. She returned $5.40 to win.